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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
More than 4,000 teachers nationwide have just learned the exciting news that they have achieved National Board Certification, demonstrating the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully prepare students for 21st century careers. To date, more than 106,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have achieved the profession’s highest mark of accomplishment through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process. The state of Oklahoma ranks 9th in total the number of National Board Certified Teachers, with 3,076.
Education Leadership Oklahoma (ELO), administered by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), in partnership with the Oklahoma State Legislature, funds up to 100 scholarships and provides support for certification. Renée Launey-Rodolf, Executive Director of OCTP states, “I am very proud of OCTP’s commitment to the National Board Certification process and of the role that the Commission has in preparing and supporting candidates through this rigorous process. We know that National Board Certification impacts teacher quality and the benefactors of teacher quality are the students of Oklahoma.”
Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board. “We have to make sure that quality teaching is as prevalent in schools serving poor communities as it is in more affluent ones. We’re proud that nearly half of all Board-certified teachers are working in high-need schools, but we have yet to reach the tipping point. To get the results we all seek for all students, particularly our most vulnerable, we need to have a high concentration of accomplished teachers working where they can make the greatest difference.”
“The stakes are high as expectations for students and teachers continue to rise with the demands of the global economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. “Students today must be able to solve problems by applying what they have learned in new and unexpected ways. As our nation’s most accomplished educators, National Board Certified Teachers are well positioned to move our students, workforce, and country forward.”
Washington State gained the most NBCTs with 516 teachers achieving in 2013. States that experienced the largest growth in their ranks of NBCTs in 2013 were Wyoming (17 percent), Hawaii (14 percent), and Montana (14 percent). North Carolina continues to lead the nation with more than 20,000 teachers in the state achieving Board certification to date. Oklahoma gained 20 NBCTs, a decline because of the moratorium placed on scholarships. “We hope to increase the number of newly certified in the future with scholarships now available,” states Jennifer Gambrell, OCTP Director of Educator Development/Education Leadership Oklahoma. Each of these states benefits from strong systems of peer support and mentoring for candidates, state and district incentives for certification, and recognition of the importance of Board certification from union leaders to state legislators. But every community has its own unique National Board story.
Former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and chairman of the NBPTS Board of Directors, predicted that states and districts that actively cultivate NBCTs will leapfrog over others in their ability to produce career- and college-ready graduates. “National Board Certification isn’t just about identifying great teachers—it’s about elevating the profession so that our children achieve at higher rates,” Gov. Wise said. “Whether it is serving as a curriculum coach, leading effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards, or mentoring fellow teachers through the certification process, NBCTs have a ripple effect on teaching and learning that extends well beyond their classrooms.”
Research has shown that the students of NBCTs outperform their peers in other classrooms. Most recently, a 2012 study by Harvard University’s Strategic Data Project found that students of NBCTs in the Los Angeles Unified School District made learning gains equivalent to an additional two months of instruction in math and one month in English Language Arts.
National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K−12th grades. National Board Standards are written for teachers, by teachers, and accomplished teachers are represented at every level of the organization, from key staff roles to the NBPTS Board of Directors and the Certification Council, which guides policy and implementation of the certification program. This fall the National Board announced revisions to the certification process that will help ensure more students across the country have the opportunity to learn from Board-certified teachers.